Prescription of the month: Make time for gratitude

What my 10-year anniversary means to me

This month, on my 10th anniversary of researching and writing Insiders’ Cures, I’m feeling quite nostalgic…reminiscent…and grateful.

I’ve learned a lot through my editorial ventures with you, my dear reader. And I’ve very much appreciated the outlet (and platform) this newsletter has provided me.

I get to share new scientific discoveries, the shocking truths behind headlines, my own personal experiences and anecdotes, and more. All while helping you live your healthiest life. That alone fills my heart with gratitude.

So, I invite you to take some time to reflect on the blessings in your life, too. That’s where this month’s “prescription” of gratitude comes into play.

The ancient Roman statesman Cicero said, “Gratitude is the greatest of all virtues and the parent of all the others.”

Indeed, expressing gratitude regularly can help you build positive, lasting relationships with your friends, spouse, family members, and community…and improve your health as well.

Better yet, gratitude works even if you don’t speak it. And I think that’s an important, often overlooked aspect…

I’ll let you in on a personal secret: I’ve had quite a few struggles over the past year. But expressing gratitude through writing has helped tremendously.

And the science backs me up.

In fact, recent research found those who wrote gratitude letters still experienced significant boosts in mental health compared to those receiving psychotherapy or who wrote expressively in a personal journal.1

In other words, it doesn’t necessarily matter how you express gratitude. All that matters is that you EXPRESS it!

Here are some ideas for how you can express the “greatest of all virtues,” starting TODAY:

  • Write gratitude letters, even if you don’t actually send them.
  • Keep a daily gratitude journal.
  • Spend more time volunteering for a cause that’s close to your heart.
  • Smile and laugh more.
  • Say thank you regularly to people you interact with during the day, and especially your family members.
  • Give at least one compliment to someone daily.
  • Pay it forward, if you can, by footing the bill for a stranger’s coffee, lunch, or gasoline.
  • Stop to notice and appreciate the beauty of the world around you when exercising out in Nature.

And on days you’re really struggling, do what I do:

  • Fill a jar with notes about things for which you’re grateful. Then, on a bad day, take a note out of the jar to remind you.
  • Look back on old photographs, books, memories, and writings that evoke a sense of calm and thankfulness.
  • Practice daily mindfulness meditation that expresses gratitude. (Check out my book with Don McCown, New World Mindfulness, for some practical guidance. You can find it under the “books” tab of my website,

In the end, it’s been an amazing 10 years together. We’ve analyzed thousands of studies and busted hundreds of medical myths. Best of all? We still have a lot of ground to cover. And for that, I’m very grateful.


“Does gratitude writing improve the mental health of psychotherapy clients? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial.” Psychotherapy Research, 28:2, 192-202.